“With Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, Republicans moved forward on health care reform Tuesday as the Senate successfully passed a key motion to proceed to debate on repealing and possibly replacing Obamacare.
Momentum built over the course of the day as several previously skeptical members announced they would support Senate GOP leaders after they began detailing plans for more votes over the next days to shape the details of the legislation.
Sen. John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, returned to the Senate from Arizona to cast a key vote and Pence broke the tie after two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska — and all the Democrats voted against it.
The vote was a key moment in the GOP’s seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but the final may fall short of that goal, and could well end up as a “skinny” repeal that disposes of just a few components of the law, known as Obamacare.” (A)
“Republican leaders Tuesday are trying to thread any needle they can to appease other holdouts.
“The only goal is to get onto the bill. Nothing happens until we do, so that’s the only goal,” a Republican aide said. “These are the moments legislatively when you get creative. We’re getting creative.”
Leadership was floating a strategy Tuesday morning that lays out a series of proposals that attempt to give everyone they want, even though nearly every element is destined for failure on the floor during the amendment process.
That strategy is as follows, in terms of amendment order:The full repeal bill that Paul backs.A bill including the “consumer freedom amendment” from that Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee originally advocated for, that includes a request from Sen. Rob Portman for $100 billion in additional Medicaid funding. That would require 60 votes to pass.
The GOP bill proposed earlier this month that McConnell pulled when too many Republicans opposed it.Finally, a “skinnier” repeal bill that repeals Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.” (B)
“Senate Republicans are considering passing a dramatically scaled-down version of their ObamaCare repeal bill as a way to pass something and set up negotiations with the House, according to GOP aides.
The measure, known as a “skinny bill,” is intended to be something all Republicans can agree on, so they can pass a bill and move to a conference committee with the House.
Aides say the scaled-down bill would likely just repeal ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.
That would be a far narrower measure than the most recent Senate replacement bill, which also scaled down ObamaCare’s subsidies and cut Medicaid.
Experts warn, though, that repealing the individual mandate without any replacement measures would destabilize the insurance market and spike premiums. (C)
(A) Pence Breaks Tie, Senate Votes to Move Forward on Health Care Bill, by Leigh Ann Caldwell and Vaughn Hillyard, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-sets-sights-skinny-repeal-obamacare-tuesday-s-voting-n786296
(B) By Lauren Fox, MJ Lee, Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett, http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/politics/senate-health-care-vote/index.html
(C) Senate GOP floats scaled-down healthcare bill, by Peter Sullivan,http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/343611-senate-gop-floats-scaled-down-healthcare-bill